Fort Drum observes 9/11 anniversary

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 1:12 PM EDT
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FORT DRUM, New York (WWNY) - Fort Drum recognized the coming anniversary of 9/11 Friday with a wreath-laying ceremony.

Soldiers and first responders reflected on the last 20 years and how it has affected each of them.

Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the 10th Mountain Division has been the most deployed division of the U.S. Army. In the last 20 years, soldiers with the division deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan more than 80 times. More than 300 lives were lost.

“As of today, our division still has soldiers deployed as a reminder that freedom isn’t free,” said division commander Major General Milford Beagle Jr. “9/11 shouldn’t be remembered just for the attacks that took place on American soil. It should also be remembered for how people of the world reacted with devotion.”

Sgt. First Class David Mauldin was set to enlist in the Army the morning of the attack.

“I was halfway there and I got a phone call saying, “Turn around, there’s been an incident,’” he said.

But, he wasn’t scared off.

First responders from Fort Drum also deployed as soon as the call came in about the tragedy to help following the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City.

“I was here 20 years ago working. That evening I received a phone call that I was being deployed to Ground Zero. As we turned down Liberty Street to where the towers were, there was just overwhelming devastation,” said Robert Tennies, retired Fort Drum fire captain. “We just pray that it never happens again, but first responders are going to be there if it happens.”

“Twenty years ago tomorrow, it may seem like it’s in the past for others, but there’s still some that have to live with the pain,” said Fort Drum Fire Chief Jason Brunet.

Those who served at Ground Zero and those who went off to war say they appreciate the support our nation has given them all these years and they’ll never forget those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

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